Recipe Spotlight

Save Your $5. Make a Better Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Home.

Simple, delicious, and pantry-friendly—this is a recipe you'll love a latte.

Published Sept. 16, 2021.

September means one very important thing: autumn is coming. And if there’s anything to get you into the spirit of pulling sweaters and boots out of storage it’s a warm, cozy, and infamous pumpkin spiced latte. These days you can find a PSL just about anywhere, but it can often fall flat from being overly sweet, having too little coffee flavor, or being too expensive. But what if I told you how easy-peasy and delicious they are to make from scratch?

Pureed Pumpkin Pros

I wanted to create a concentrated sweet and pumpkin-y syrup that could be made ahead and stored in your fridge. I was pleasantly surprised to find a handful of homemade PSL recipes that used actual pumpkin. To be fair, canned pumpkin on its own doesn’t pack a ton of flavor, but for my own conviction I knew I wanted to use it. After all, it adds color. And if you really think about it, you’re kinda drinking a vegetable.

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

Most flavored coffee drinks get their flavor via syrup from a pump, so I started there, with simple syrup. There were spices to bloom, so I opted for the stovetop. Once the syrup came to a simmer, I whisked in our Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice and pumpkin puree (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling). Simmering this pumpkin-spiced syrup allowed the ingredients to meld (as well as make your entire house smell like a “Love and Happiness” Yankee candle). I trusted my gut and strained the syrup through cheesecloth—and let’s just say I’m glad I did. The strained syrup delivered a stunning, translucent, mahogany-hued syrup (that begged for a dash of vanilla extract to bring out some caramel qualities). What was left in the cheesecloth can only be described as . . . brown gunk. Less stunning, if you will. 

Now, the second best part: the assembly. I gathered my pumpkin syrup, some strong coffee, and milk. I gave the milk a quick zap in the microwave. With a whisk and a little elbow grease, the milk frothed in no time. Then I topped it off with whipped cream because I deserve it.

Overall, I give this recipe 5 out of 5 stars—I loved it a latte. Happy PSL-ing, all.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Pumpkin Syrup makes 12 lattes (about 1½ cups)

If you don’t feel like making your own pumpkin spice, use 4 teaspoons pre-packaged pumpkin spice. The pumpkin syrup can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Pumpkin Syrup
1½ cups water
1½ cups sugar
1 recipe Homemade Pumpkin Spice (see note above)
¼ cup pumpkin puree 
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Spiced Latte
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup hot coffee
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Syrup
Whipped cream (optional)

1. FOR PUMPKIN SYRUP: Bring water and sugar to boil in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in pumpkin spice and puree, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer for 20 minutes until flavors meld and syrup thickens slightly.

2. Using fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain mixture into medium bowl, squeezing cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids and stir in vanilla extract. (Pumpkin syrup can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)

3. FOR PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE: Microwave milk in 1-cup measuring cup until milk reaches approximately 140 degrees, about 1 minute. Whisk constantly until milk froths and doubles in size, about 2 minutes.

4. Combine coffee and pumpkin syrup together in coffee mug, then pour in frothed milk. Top with whipped cream, if using. Serve. 

Want to learn these six recipes, our all-time reader favorites? Start a free trial to access all these, plus our other home kitchen–tested, foolproof recipes.

This is a members' feature.